01/19/2011 02:22 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Mark Kelly's Diane Sawyer Interview: Gabrielle Giffords Feared She Would Be Shot (VIDEO)

Mark Kelly sat down with Diane Sawyer in an exclusive interview for ABC's "20/20", where he discussed his wife Gabrielle Giffords' current condition, her earlier fears of being attacked by dissenters, and what it was like to believe she had died when news of the shooting first broke.

For about 20 minutes, Kelly broke down in a plane's bathroom after believing incorrect media reports that his wife had been fatally shot at a political event outside a supermarket.

He said he had rushed aboard a friend's plane to fly to Arizona after hearing of the shooting in Tucson, and that he saw the television report while enroute.

"I just, you know, walked into the bathroom and you know, broke down," Kelly told Sawyer. "To hear that she died is just -- it's devastating for me."

Giffords isn't aware that six people died in the shooting, including Gabe Zimmerman, one of her staff members, Kelly said. Authorities say she was targeted by a 22-year-old constituent who had met her at a similar event in 2007.

The three-term Democrat was among 13 people who were also wounded in the massacre Jan. 8 outside a Safeway supermarket. She remained in serious condition after a bullet traveled the length of her brain.

ABC News reports:

In a remarkably personal interview, Kelly revealed that his wife had spoken about 10 times before the shooting of her fears of being shot during one of her town meetings, and Kelly isn't sure she should continue being a member of Congress after her recovery.

Kelly also talks of his wife's remarkable progress and his hope that she'll eventually make a complete recovery.

Kelly, who has been photographed beside his wife's bed holding her hand, said there is a habit of hers that has convinced him that she recognizes him.

"If I hold her hand, she'll play with my wedding ring. She'll move it up and down my finger. She'll take it off... she'll put it on her own finger. She'll move it to her thumb. And then she can put it back on my finger," he said.

Kelly said he probably wouldn't want Giffords to return to Congress.

"But I know that's probably not going to matter to her. I think she's such a devoted public servant that she's going to come out of this and be more resolved to fix things," he said.